We may be battling freezing temps here in Middle Tennessee (our Midwest neighbors would get mad at us for even complaining as they deal with sub-zero temps…), but the planting season for springtime veggies is just around the corner!
Before you begin imagining the beautiful salads and soups you’ll be making from your very own vegetable harvest, you’ll first need to plan before you plant!
There are 3 important springtime veggie planting tips that we want to cover in today’s email:
- Testing your soil
- Choosing the right vegetables to plant
- Preparing adequate frost coverings
Make sure your soil is healthy.
Just like we need a healthy diet to thrive, so do your veggie plants! And a healthy soil full of just the right balance of nutrients is exactly what your veggie plant needs.
Test your soil before you plant.
Your state’s agriculture center provides lab testing for your soil for a fee. Your job is just to collect the proper samples and send it into the lab.
In Tennessee, the UT Institute of Agriculture provides soil testing services. You can read more about their services & prices here.
In Tennessee, you have two options for testing soil—per acreage or per 100 feet of garden space. For small farms growing on less than an acre of land, we recommend testing per 100 feet of garden space. Testing by acreage is a better option if you grow on many acres of land or grow multiple large crops.
You can read the full soil sampling instructions here.
Your standard soil test will provide information on the levels of phosphorus and potassium/potash in your soil. Reports typically include recommendations for improving soil fertility. You can also ask for recommendations that focus on organic solutions.
HELPFUL NOTE: On the top righthand side of your report will be contact information for the head of the Department of Testing. They are there to help you! Getting your first soil report can seem a little intimidating… like trying to read another language almost. So if you have questions about your soil report, reach out to this person, and they can walk you through your results!
Plant the right veggies.
Lovers of kale, onions, potatoes, and more… it’s almost time to plant! Planting times for spring veggies range from February to mid-April depending on the plant type.
Check out this full chart for everything you need to know about your springtime veggies, including planting times, harvest season information, recommended spacing between plants, and more!
Protect your plants from frost damage.
Some spring crops need to be planted as early as February, but for those of us in Tennessee, winter can linger long into March. If you also call Tennessee home, depending on what area of the state you live in, it’s recommended that you plant as late in the month as possible to avoid any hard freezes that might be in the forecast.
But even then, you’ll likely encounter a few nights of frost.
But you can protect your fledgling veggie plants from the Big Bad Frost! Read this post for step-by-step instructions for how to create a garden covering to protect your plants, and then check out this video where I explain how we use crop covers at Stoney Creek Farm!
Healing Evergreens Herb Class
Will we see you in class at Stoney Creek Farm next Saturday?
In our upcoming Healing Evergreens Herb Class on Saturday, February 9, instructor & master herbalist Julia Stowe will show us the uses of the 126 different spices of pine tree!
You’ll enjoy a sampling of pine-infused herbal remedies, blend your own delicious, immune supporting evergreen tea, and make a unique pine aromatherapy locket during this wintery adventure into the art of herbalism.
Recipe booklet and all class materials included. You can get your ticket here.
WHEN: Saturday, February 9 // 10am – 12pm
WHERE: Stoney Creek Farm in Franklin, TN
4th Annual Sustainable Farm Conference
We are only two months away from our 4th Annual Sustainable Farm Conference, coming up on Saturday, March 30!
You’ll enjoy a packed day of learning how to live your simple, sustainable living dreams right here at Stoney Creek Farm. Along with a group of other like-minded folk from all over the country, we’ll share with you our 14 years of farming experience!
Topics covered include sustainable housing, preserving and fermenting food, attracting beneficial insects, composting and soil testing, and so much more!
See the full list of topics and the conference itinerary here.
Click here to learn more about the conference and to get your ticket!